Session a failure, Danielle Smith tells supporters

The spring session of the Alberta legislature ended late Wednesday, a session Wildrose leader Danielle Smith labels a huge failure for the government.

The spring session of the Alberta legislature ended late Wednesday, a session Wildrose leader Danielle Smith labels a huge failure for the government.

“It was a disaster for the government — again, as it always is. The election promises from last year have become completely unravelled. We’re now seeing that the government had no intention of keeping any of its commitments,” said Smith, in Red Deer for a fundraising dinner with 160 supporters on Thursday.

The legislature wrapped up its session about three weeks sooner than expected Wednesday, ending with a flurry of bills being passed, including a legislated four-year deal for the province’s teachers.

Smith cited the education deal, along with cuts to care for those with developmental disabilities and to university funding as ways she says the government has gone wrong.

“We’ve got a government that is breaking promises left, right and centre, and the biggest broken promise of them all is going back into massive debt after having been proudly debt-free for a decade,” she said.

On the announced closure of Michener Centre, Smith said her party is fighting against what she called a “pretty brutal surprise” for the families of residents. She said she respects the government’s efforts to integrate those with developmental disabilities, but that it is not necessarily a move that will work for Michener residents.

“Those are wonderful, worthy goals, but for some people who are extremely developmentally delayed and are not capable of taking care of themselves or being in a workplace, the outcome we expect is compassion and we have to make sure we have seamless supports for those who are requiring around-the-clock nursing care.”

The government is showing an extreme lack of compassion, she said, when it comes to those who are vulnerable and can’t speak for themselves.

“Many of the people in the Michener Centre fall into that category. They’re not going to be rehabilitated. They’re not going to be able to work. They require comfort as they continue to live out the rest of their lives and there aren’t many facilities that can do that,” stated Smith.

The leader of the Opposition said she will be busy this summer on the barbecue and parade circuit, and will be doing a tour of First Nations to hear their concerns about the Aboriginal Consultation Levy Bill passed earlier this week.

The legislature is set to return on Oct. 28.

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